5 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Numenera 2, CAVALIERS OF MARS, Battlelords, Baker Street and Hood, and Gamma Turquoise

Last week, I did my normal column – Forbidden Lands, Mini-Dungeon Tome, and more – and a special edition that looked at what my state has to offer in RPGs, games, and gaming conventions (AndoCon, Heavy Metal Thunder Mouse, and a few others). This week, among the RPG Kickstarters I’m counting down, they include the third of the head-to-head challenges. What’s the head-to-head challenge? It’s five 6- to 7-figure RPG projects running in October. These big projects beg the questions – Will all five of these campaigns make their goals, and will they leave enough fan budget behind for the other RPG Kickstarters?


5) CAVALIERS OF MARS, a tabletop roleplaying game by Onyx Path
Ends on Thu, October 19 2017 12:59 PM EDT.

“Contribute to help create, publish and distribute the CAVALIERS OF MARS tabletop roleplaying book.

Live, fight, and love on Mars, a world of red death and strange mystery, a world of savagery and romance.

Return now to dying Mars in its last age of glory. A planet of flashing swords and choking sands, of winking courtesans and lantern-lit canal cities.

Mars, where fortune and heartbreak are two sides of the same obsidian chit, where lost cities and dry oceans stretch between the last bastions of civilization. Where the First Martians, the monument-builders, are but a haunted memory. Where the Red Martians become decadent and reckless in their last days. Where the Pale Martians rule the wastes, remembering a history whose weight would crush a lesser people.


Mars has canals… therefore, Mars must have Venice!

Cavaliers of Mars is a swashbuckling adventure setting from Rose Bailey, longtime developer of Vampire: The Requiem and other World of Darkness titles. Cavaliers draws inspiration from pulp fantasy and historical fiction, adding a modern edge and an exotic setting.

Cavaliers of Mars is powered by the DEIMOS system, in which a hero’s motivations and approach to problems strongly influence her chance of success. In combat, heroes face off with their enemies in contests of tactics and chance.”


Egg’s Thoughts: 

Onyx Path is a large publisher and this game is a part of their creator-owned line. I dig that they are offering that business option and partnering with creators to produce new products.

Cavaliers of Mars is a new entry in Onyx Path’s lineup of creator-owned games, produced in partnership with Rose Bailey and written by Rose Bailey, Benjamin Baugh, Dixie Cochran, Storn Cook, Steffie de Vaan, Meghan Fitzgerald, Jordan Goldfarb, Danielle Lauzon, Ethan Skemp, Lauren Stone, Travis Stout, Audrey Whitman.”

This RPG uses the DEIMOS system – traits of varying dice sizes rolled in dice pools against a difficulty number – that attempts to recreate the John Carter of Mars/Barsoom experience as a RPG. But do the system and setting work? You can get the Jumpstart Rules for free and, if you back the campaign, they have the complete text for CoM available as a download now.

“To learn more about Cavaliers of Mars, you can check out the CAVALIERS OF MARS JUMPSTART RULES here at DRIVETHRURPG.COM:


BACKERS ONLY:We’ll be providing a link to the complete text for Cavaliers of Mars (barring last minute tweaks) in Backer Update #1. Please let us know what you think!”

Onyx Path is backing this product all the way. It’s worth a look just for that.


You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.


4) Battlelords, Science Fiction RPG revised edition by 23rd Century Productions
Ends on Thu, October 19 2017 11:04 PM EDT.

“Battlelords of the 23rd Century, Seventh Edition is a full color, hardcover tabletop RPG book. New & Streamlined Core Rules.

What is Battlelords?

Battlelords is a game set in a dangerous future. An Alliance of Humans and aliens is fighting for survival. The Ak-Nar-Ryn (aka “Arachnids”) have destroyed worlds and decimated populations as they advance into Alliance territory. Against the backdrop of war, players can take the fight to the Ak-Nar-Ryn, become explorers seeking new aliens species for allies and technology or participate in espionage to further the goals of their corporate backers.

Ready for battle
Ready for battle

There are many core species and each has their specialty and their own story. You can play as a Chatilian so you can read minds and use mental powers. Be the ultimate infiltration specialist as a Mazian transforming to look like a Human, or a tree, or a desk, or pretty much anything else you can think of. If you’d like to go with brute strength, pick a Pythonian and throw someone for distance. Play a cunning and ruthless Phentari and make your enemies suffer.  There are 15 different species to choose from!”


Egg’s Thoughts: 

Have you played Battlelords before? “The first edition was released in 1990 by Lawrence R Sims,” and this is the Kickstarter for the 7th edition, so it has a lengthy pedigree. 23rd Century Productions believes in their game enought to have a free playtest for you to sample and see if this is the game you’ve been waiting for.

“Our Open Playtest of the Battlelords, Seventh Edition system has started, and will continue into November 2017. You can download the playtest packet for free on drivethrurpg.com.”


You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.


3) Baker Street: Strange Cases and Hood: Beyond the Forest by Fearlight Games
Ends on Fri, October 20 2017 8:30 PM EDT.

“We’re creating a new Casebook for the Baker Street RPG, and our first Adventure book for Hood: Swashbuckling Adventures in Sherwood!

Fearlight Games is bringing you two new collections of cases and adventures!

We have a new collection of cases for use with Baker Street: Roleplaying in the World of Sherlock Holmes. Our investigators find themselves dealing with unusual circumstances and locales out of the ordinary in Strange Cases & Distant Places. This is the third casebook for Baker Street. We also have a new release for Hood: Swashbuckling Adventures in Sherwood. Adventures Beyond the Forest is our first collection of adventures for Hood and it has our Merry Men setting off on a series of swashbuckling adventures!

If you aren’t familiar with either of the games, scroll on down to the appropriate About the Game section for a brief introduction to the system, or check out the original campaigns here:

Baker Street and Hood

A preliminary layout of the cover and interior pages.

A preliminary layout of the cover and interior pages.


Egg’s Thoughts: 

Do you want to play Robin Hood or Sherlock Holmes? Fearlight Games has you covered. In one Kickstarter, they’re offering case files and adventure for these two settings. As a GM, I’m excited for mystery-adventures that are at a high enough level for Sherlock Holmes. That’s a win!

That other win is that Bryce Whitacre, the Spectrum System, Baker Street, and Hood creator, is a nice guy and, best of all, he hired my pal, Jonathan Thompson, to do…

The Haunted Mill, by Jonathan M. Thompson

Tom, the Miller, is having some trouble with the little people. They are killing his cats, destroying his grain and otherwise making a mess of things. Sir William has offered to buy the mill, maybe the denizens of Sherwood can aid Tom before it’s too late.”

I want this to fund to see how the adventures and mysteries turn out!


You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.


2) Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport by Kort’thalis Publishing
Ends on Thu, October 26 2017 2:11 PM EDT.

***NOTICE*** – NSFW!

“Post-apocalyptic campaign setting, tools, and scenario… gonzo, eldritch, science-fantasy, mutant wasteland. O5R by Venger Satanis.

For those who don’t know me, “Hi.  I’m Venger Satanis, High Priest of Kort’thalis Publishing.  What’s up?”

I believe this is my 13th Kickstarter.  Want to see what I’ve been doing the last 4 years?  Check out my old school gaming blog: http://vengersatanis.blogspot.com/

I haven’t explored the post-apocalypse genre that often, so this is a big deal to me.  I want to get deep in there and do it right, coming up with weird, outlandish things in a world devastated by cataclysmic forces. PCs will be eating crock-rat and scorpion-skunk roadkill, drinking their own piss, giving hand jobs for precious gasoline, and pretending to worship the glowing faces of a malevolent and insane god that floats somewhere in the yellow smog of the forbidden zone. Not everyone will survive.  In fact, some won’t even want to.  That’s just the way things are now.

There are already a lot of cool post-apocalyptic RPGs out there.  Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport will focus on making your after-the-bomb gaming experience more awesome.  I strive to hit that sweet spot between rules-light and rules-non-existent, where flavor, story, ideas, artwork, scenario seeds, and random tables dominate.  Indeed, this book will have utility far beyond the scenario presented.  You’ll want to give this to your grand-kids when they go off adventuring in post-apocalyptic lands.

I provide you with the finest tools so that YOU can create your own irradiated landscape full of mutated skeezoid scum dogs (tentacled, of course).  But this won’t be a lame outline that you have to flesh out.  No, you’re in good hands – Venger’s warlock hands!

If you want a lot of crunchy, bloated, system nonsense that has no business being in a toolbox like this, then move along.  Nothing to see here…”

Check out my interview with Venger Satanis here

Post-apocalyptic campaign setting, tools, and scenario... gonzo, eldritch, science-fantasy, mutant wasteland. O5R by Venger Satanis.


Egg’s Thoughts: 

Gonzo gaming. Venger Satanis of Kort’thalis Publishing is the living embodiment of gonzo gaming. NSFW work gonzo gaming, but gonzo gaming all the same. Venger is also one of the most helpful, ready-to-give-back-to-gaming individuals in the industry.

Do you need a post-apocalyptic world that’s deeply rooted in grindhouse? Gamma Turquoise is going to give you twists and turns and unexpected craziness from after the world ends!


You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.


1) Numenera 2: Discovery and Destiny by Monte Cook Games
Ends on Fri, October 27 2017 8:00 PM EDT.

“Discover the Ninth World, then fulfill your destiny to lift it from an age of darkness. Two new corebooks for Numenera.

They say there have been eight worlds before ours. Eight times the people of this Earth, over vast millennia, built their civilizations, reaching heights we cannot even fully imagine now. They spoke to the stars, reshaped the creatures of the world, and mastered form and essence. They built cities and machines that have since crumbled to dust, leaving only their barest remnants.

This is the Ninth World. The people of the prior worlds are gone—scattered, disappeared, or transcended. But their works remain, in the places and devices that still contain some germ of their original function. Some call these magic, but the wise know that these are our legacy. They are our future. They are the…

Set a billion years in our future, Numenera is a tabletop roleplaying game about exploration and discovery. The people of the Ninth World suffer through a dark age, an era of isolation and struggle in the shadow of the ancient wonders crafted by advanced civilizations now millennia gone. But discovery awaits for those brave enough to seek out the works of the prior worlds. Those who uncover and master the numenera can unlock the powers and abilities of the ancients, and bring new light to a struggling world.

The original Numenera RPG was launched via a 2012 Kickstarter campaign that shattered every record (at the time) for tabletop RPGs. The corebook has seen four printings, and Numenera is enjoyed by tens of thousands of gamers in an active global community. We have published over 60 supplements and accessories, and released a terrific starter set for new players. The Ninth World has spawned a critically-acclaimed hit computer game, board games, an excellent short film, a line of novels, and other licensed items, and Numenera has been translated into many languages including French, Spanish, Italian, Korean, German, and Portuguese.

Numenera is a game in which player characters explore the ruins of aeons past to gather amazing treasures and help build a new future for a world struggling in darkness. Since the launch of Numenera in 2013, we have delivered well on the first part, but we’ve always wanted to do a more thorough job exploring that second part. That desire has led us to Numenera 2 and this Kickstarter campaign.

Through this Kickstarter we’re going to replace the existing corebook with two new corebooks. The first is called Numenera Discovery and the second Numenera Destiny.”

Egg’s Thoughts: 

It’s Monte Cook, it’s Numenera, it’s breathtaking art, it’s (as of this writing) over 2,400 backers and over $450,000, it’s one of the five 6- or 7-figure RPG Kickstarters running in October, 2017, and it’s going to be epic in every sense of the word. At this point, in the comparison between the five big games of the month, Numenera 2 is in the lead and, I believe, likely to stay there.

Never tried Numenera? Well, Monte Cook Games believes in their game and they have 17 free Numenera previews on DriveThruRPG. If you’re unsure, Monte Cook has enough samples to knock you off the fence one way or the other.


You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.


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Signal Boost:


Design Camp 2 – The Conversion! with Ben McFarland, Jason Sonia, and Brian Suskind
We’re planning a short winter project to showcase the process of converting a D&D3.0 adventure to 5E & PFRPG while updating the design.
Ends on Wed, November 1 2017 4:53 AM EDT.

Why signal boost this? This is wanna-lancer college! Take out a student loan and join in because Egg Embry will be there!


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Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).


Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links to DriveThruRPG.com and Amazon.com.

Savage Worlds: Fast, Furious, and Fun! - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com


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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!


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Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).